Monday, August 30, 2010

season of creation 1c: Ocean Sunday

The Season of Creation is a recent emphasis for liturgical observation as late summer cycles into fall in the northern hemisphere, winter into spring in the southern. The site explains
What Is the Season of Creation?

For four Sundays in September, prior to St Francis of Assisi Day, we join in celebrating with Christ the wonders of creation. In the liturgy, we follow the lead of the psalm writers and celebrate with creation — with the forests, the rivers and the fields, which praise the Creator in their own way. Bible readings focus especially on the story of Earth, which complements the story of God and the story of humanity in the Scriptures. We commit ourselves to a ministry of healing Earth, with Christ and creation as our partners.
Norman Habel gives us part of the history; here's an excerpt:
The season of Creation begins as an Australian story. I, like many in our Lutheran Church in Australia, grew up in the bush. I climbed every tree within miles. I felt close to creation: the soil, the streams and the sounds of the bush. Celebrating the creation I love has long been one of my dreams.

season of creation 1c: Ocean Sunday
Needless to say, this is very in process and well may be different within a couple days; if you use these prayers, please make your own changes and additions as freely as you like.

Call to Worship

leader: As we gather for worship today in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, let us bless the Lord for the bounty of creation, the mercy of redemption and the hope of a new creation.

response: We bless you Lord God, for the wonder and majesty of sun, moon, stars and seas, for all of earth's abundance, for the love of Jesus Christ and for the gift of the Spirit in our midst.

ocean sundayleader: Today on Ocean Sunday we especially remember your provision of water ranging from deeps of the primal creation, to rivers that flowed from Eden, through streets of the new Jerusalem. On this Ocean Sunday we also acknowledge and repent of ways we have squandered and spoiled gifts you called us to care for.

response: We admit our sin and wrongfulness in behaviors that have harmed the waters, that have hurt creatures who live in the oceans and rivers and have broken the lives of humans who depend on water for income, nutrition, sustenance and health. We especially repent of the complicity, ignorance and greed that led to the recent disaster in the Gulf Coast region of the United States of America. We ask for your forgiveness as we resolve to start over with new awareness and sensitivity, that we might live as bringers of the new creation.

leader: In gratitude and in hope we remember, retell and reappropriate stories of gifts of water that carried Noah's ark to salvation, that splashed from the rock in the exodus desert, that became the boundary of promised land freedom, that in baptism is the tomb of our death and womb of our new life in Jesus Christ.


God of glorious love, your Word calls forth the mystery and magnificence of creation! We ask that you would make us faithful stewards and caretakers of your gifts, especially brooks, creeks, seas, and glaciers, that all might be redeemed, live and thrive to give life to others, through Jesus Christ, who was baptized in the waters of the River Jordan, became living water to the world and sends us forth to baptize by water, Word and Spirit. Amen!

Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is joy to offer thanks and praise!
This is a day of hope! This is a time to celebrate the gift of water, to recall and reclaim the redemption of everything there is!

Lord God, you laid the foundation of the earth and set firm its cornerstone;
You were there when the morning stars sang together;
You commanded the morning, and showed dawn its time of awakening;
Your word formed the springs of the seas and spread out the expanse of the earth with all that grows from it.
You gave a portion of your Spirit to all creation,
and charged humanity with stewardship of the works of your hands.

By water and Word you claimed and baptized us as your people;
You have given us water and bread and fruit of the vine as signs of your presence among us;
You call us and send us to proclaim your gospel of love and justice to all the world.

And so with the company of heaven and with all creation in every time and every place we sing:
Holy are you, God of mercy, glory and love, and blessed is Jesus your son, who lived among us in a body made from stuff of the earth.
Jesus died for the redemption of all creation,
and was raised from death for the life of the world.
He ascended to reign in justice and righteousness over everything his Word had created.
With the Church in all the ages we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Dying you destroyed our death;
Rising you restored our life;
Lord Jesus, come in glory!
bread and cupOn the night of betrayal and desertion, our Lord Jesus took bread; when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,
"This is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way after supper, he also took the cup, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again in glory.
Come, Spirit of Holiness; come upon all creation everywhere and upon this assembly of saints;
Come, Holy Spirit; sanctify these gifts of grain and grape uniting us with all creation in every time and every place;
Come, Spirit of Life and bless our feasting at this table of reconciliation and renewal,
That baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,
in the power of the Spirit we may daily live as the gracious presence of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

Glory and thanks
wisdom, acclaim
dominion and righteousness be to God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
endlessly throughout eternity,

© leah chang 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

back to school 5

Songbird hosts dorm life Friday 5

Songbird's original title, "dorm life 5" had a class and culture bias that didn't fit my experience; at first I changed it to "undergrad days 5" but wanted to make my answers broader, so I'm going with back to school 5:

1) I never actually went away to school; although some kids in my neighborhood and high school headed toward some kind of higher education, for the most part they researched, applied to schools and figured out their own ways to find scholarships, grants and work that would pay for it without much if any parental help or intervention at any stage of the way. Some kept on living in the home of their parent or parents; others, like myself, found an apartment with roommates. Nonetheless, the cats were hard to leave behind when I moved out.

2) My parent made very little fuss about my venture out into the world of higher education except to warn me there was no way I wouldn't fail miserably.

3) I have lots and lots of favorite memories of activities with schoolmates. For a few: Red Sox games at Fenway Park; Nativity Lessons and Carols at Harvard's Memorial Church that I started loving as an undergrad and later enjoyed as a seminarian; weekday evening Celtics games at the old Boston Garden; driving up the shore (North Shore of Boston) after church on Sundays to enjoy the beach or all the way to Gloucester for seafood and boat views; rush tickets for Friday afternoon Boston Symphony concerts. Where now are the friends I enjoyed those activities with?

4) Among necessities of college life that seem hilariously anachronistic these days would be lining up outside the computer lab at 6:30 am to get terminal time--the campus was in Boston but the mainframe was far away in Amherst! Although people still have the answering machines we couldn't be without back in the day, I've had only a cellphone for several years now and find its voice mail extremely convenient. For several reasons I never opted for landline phone company's voice mail option.

5) An innovation of today I wish had been part of my undergrad years? Oh, so many. iPods (anthro professor complained longly and loudly about the outrage of people living their private lives in public by walking around wearing Walkmen/ Walkpersons all the time); flash/thumb drives/ memory sticks that have become ubiquitous only during the past few years and weren't even imagined way back when (and, of course, the ability to create better than perfunctory word processing documents not to mention the spreadsheet and art-oriented applications). Cell phones...

My college days actually were quite a while ago, but I never lived in a dorm so can't cite any currently funny-seeming dormitory rules or regs and at the moment can't recall any similar dumb expectations within the greater society. However, I'm a not-unusual combination of iconoclast and people-pleaser, so requirements I encountered tended to get flaunted or meticulously obeyed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

de/re/clutter 5

Today Jan hosts Re/De-Clutter Friday 5

declutterFor my own intro I'll mention how Erik Erikson speaks of the "furniture of self," and says to lose the "sum of one's possessions" is to lose evidence of who one is. Over these years I've lost so very much that hasn't rewoven and regenerated no matter how generously I parse and reconstruct it, I suspect I'm still hanging on to quite a few material objects I'll be able to separate from with at least a little equanimity as soon as a place of community, acknowledgment and participation – a place of life – finds me again. Oh, I've been looking for a long time yet still I suspect it has to find me. Is it not about grace?

1. I like to hang on to anything with great color combinations so ceramic mugs (also a few stoneware and a couple of china), quilts, textiles, etc.

2. For the hard to let go of things, although I've parted with lots of my textbooks and other assigned reading from university and professional school(s), I still have many of my notes and notebooks that I haven't looked at since the last century.

3. Easy to give away is the 5 or 6 big bags of clothes I seem to be able to collect every 5 or 6 months. They then go down to the nearby thrift store (ok, not by themselves; I take them there).

4. My answer to (2) is part of a kind of stumbling block connected with cleaning out, but also, in ages past I've found when my life is full and happy I've made relatively serious mistakes of giving away far too much that later I regretted. Clearly during those times, friends, relationships and opportunities for service have given meaning to my life and world so I haven't felt a need to try to construct meanings from external stuff.

5. Way back pre-kindergarten I wanted to design textiles or teach art, and I'm still easily enamored of color, pattern, line, texture and design. Therefore, I like to collect, hoard, and/or admire things that have an interesting spark of color, pattern, line, texture and/or design. Pottery, ceramics, textiles, sweaters, skirts, etc.

For my bonus "about recycling or whatever you can think of that goes along with this muttering about cluttering," I've recycled lots with the local freecycle and happily haven't had anything to post to the group for over a year now. You might call that through-cycling since who knows how much further stuff travels after leaving us?

Friday, August 06, 2010

friday 5: memories, memories...

Sally hosts today's memories, memories friday 5; in her intro she tells us:
This year Tim and I have planted and nurtured a vegetable garden, and I have just spent the morning preparing vegetables and soups for the freezer, our veggie garden is producing like crazy and it is hard to keep up with, that said it'll be worth it for a little taste of summer in the middle of winter :-). That got me thinking of the things I treasure, memories are often more valuable than possessions. How about you, can you share:
1.  Pictures in my head of myself as a preschooler sitting at the table drawing is a childhood memory that has borne fruit. I was going to be "an artist," and thought designing textiles or teaching art would be very cool, something I'd be very good at and that I'd love doing.

2. so many fun and hope-filled teenage memories, so I'll choose a few: designing fonts in class when I was supposed to be listening, learning or studying; hangin' out with friends; talking, listening, hoping and dreaming; playing in piano recitals and lots, lots more...

clark street3. This photo of Clark Street, where I lived as an undergrad, illustrates my young adult memory. Originally I thought I'd become an artist/ designer (check out 1.) had scholarships to art school and music school, and chose the latter. But during those years a Greater Love began drawing me, the course of my life changed and started winding, weaving, sidetracking and backtracking. Weather permitting, we'd go up on the roof of this building to do homework, talk, snack, listen to the radio on the boombox (ghetto blaster, portable stereo) ...songs from those years have been unforgettably engraved as precious memories. Try "Up On The Roof" by Carole King and Jerry Goffin in the very best version sung by James Taylor.

4. So far my best memory from this summer is the way I'm still keepin' on keepin' on in spite of everything (check out 5. for more about this one).

5. I long to start building new memories of activities and especially of meals, parties, conversations, picnics, lunches and snacks shared with friends.

Bonus: For my "song that sums up one of those memories," Bob Dylan's Dream. I didn't look for a vid since they tend to come and go from where they were found, and because I love Bob Dylan's site.

...the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split

To quote George F. Will, "A free future must begin with the freedom to talk about the past..."

thanks, Sally!